Member Spotlight: RaShawna Sydnor

RaShawna Sydnor is a teacher at Baltimore City Public Schools and an affiliate instructor at Loyola University Maryland.

What do you do?

I teach middle/high school humanities from an African-centered perspective, allowing my students to see themselves in all aspects of the curriculum.

Tell us about your latest work or project in media literacy.

I am currently using a pop-culture film (Black Panther) to introduce a variety of topics to my students around advocacy, self-worth, self-sufficiency, representation, determination, resilience and fight!

Why is media literacy important to you?

It is important to me because we consume so much of it in so many ways and as a teacher. I can be an active participant in helping my students make sense of what they see, hear and ultimately taste and feel. Additionally, I can help them recognize how it impacts their thoughts, wants, perceived needs, and expectations. Them understanding how these forces work to manipulate their decisions/thought process and the methods used, allows them some measure of freedom when they can recognize it and use sound judgement.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?

I am most excited about the use of social media to the extent that I’ll be able to use a medium that is already overwhelmingly popular with them to explore the variety of topics critical to being media literate. Their knowledge of the platform functions will allow me to focus on the fundamentals of what they experience while engaging.

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?

I chose to become a member after engaging with the organization as a presenter and moderator. The benefits to being a member for me will primarily be the research and resources provided as I have found it and them to be immediately applicable in my classroom.

The views and opinions expressed in the M-Passioned Member blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the M-Passioned Member blog is to highlight our members and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.